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Believe In Yourself

What would you do if something phenomenal happens to you? Do you keep it or do you share it?
I have had my share of mishaps in the sport running, something that I love to do. A dog bite in the
middle of an ultramarathon race and a broken ankle. What more can a runner ask for.
Just when things are getting a little bit better after my ankle surgery and long hibernation from
running, I was diagnosed with herniated disc or commonly called slipped disc back in 2019 causing a
radiating pain from my left glute down my calf to my left sole, again, making it difficult for me to run.
My only recourse were pain medications, physical therapy and home exercises. In short, I focused
more on healing my physical pain from external factors. And the relief has always been temporary and
intermittent. Yes, there were good days but bad days were often too.

Because of this, I stopped running and became less active. I gained weight and my moods shifted
from pleasant to grumpy in most days. Was this peri-menopause? or was this pain causing me to be the
person that I am not.
A meeting with my dad’s cousin, Stephen back in July 2021 changed everything. I was referring to
a guy who I always admire from afar. He is an accomplished businessman in Metro Manila with many
accolades to his name in the field of event organizing. He to me was a man living the life. Having a
supportive family and a life revolving around celebrities and insider parties not everyone is privilege to be
invited.

As he walked across at the Verandah of The Baguio Country Club with his lovely wife, Parul, it was
hard not to noticed how much he had lost weight. He was frail but surprisingly, there’s calmness in his

demeanor. Prior to our meeting, I am already aware that Stephen has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-
Small Cell Adenocarcinoma Lung Cancer which he confirmed early on during our conversation. Acceptance
of his condition was undeniably there and his will to fight and win over this battle is evident from the way
he speaks to the content of his thoughts.

We talked about Lung CA and how it was prevalent in the “KU” genes. My dad and two of his
sisters succumb to this same dreadful illness. Knowing this was daunting and scary at the same time. If
genetic destiny is true, am I predestined to have one in the future? How about my children? Right there
and then I said, “If I were to have one in the future, God forbids, my only prayer is for Him to extend my
life until such time that my four children are old enough to fend for themselves.”
I was expecting for his full accord but instead I got his solid contradiction. He calmly said, “Why
wait? Why pray for something that is not there yet. If you are praying like you said you were, why not ask

OPINION
God to spare you from the illness because you still want to see your children’s children grow and that you
know you still have a lot to contribute in this world that we live in.” That opened my eyes big time. Why
not? Why wait for a disease, a loss of someone, a failure or even a success to come before acting upon it.
Unfortunately, he passed May of this year, leaving us with his recently launched Christmas carol, “Pasko
Nga Ba” and me a life long lesson.
Since then, my mindset changed on how I do things, see other people. In general, I saw life in a
different perspective. He recommended a book written by Dr. joe Dispenza entitled ” You are Placebo,
Making your Mind Matter” and this not not only dispels my belief on genetic destiny but propelled me to
a higher level of thinking on how the power of thoughts can heal and transform you into a better version
of yourself.
I became mindful of everything I do and did meditative activities to empower my mind to think
better like “Neurographica” , and believe it or not, I’m back to running short distances and my pain scale
from Sciatica was brought down from 9/10 to probably 3 as of this writing. Is this psychological? I don’t
really care. What’s definite is that my way to full recovery is not far behind.
And if I were to give one take away from my many learnings from this world renowned
motivational speaker, writer and neuroscientist? It is our innate ability to heal ourselves, improve our
lives, achieve our goals and create a better version of ourselves thus causing an effect of change and
gratitude, two of the most important ingredients to having and living a harmonious life.
As the year ends, would it be nice to ponder upon the geniuses we all are and our ability to create
a better life for us and others by taking that big bold step of simply believing in ourselves.

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